Examples of interactive journalism – Week 16

As always, add your own example for extra credit by providing a link in a reply to this post. (This is your last chance to post an example.)

This week’s example is not journalism, but it’s a neat case of crowdsourcing in the public interest. Also, the design of the site is excellent — you should check it out just to see how inviting and appealing it is.

The New York Public Library presents: Building Inspector

Okay, it’s an odd title — here’s what the site is for: By donating a little bit of time, regular people like you help check a computer’s “guess” at building shapes and addresses. The data comes from old maps of New York City that have been digitized. To make a scanned map searchable (and thereby usable), we need more than just the image of the map.

We’re training computers to do the heavy lifting, and then distributing the remaining quality control tasks to smart, motivated citizens. The goal? To produce a comprehensive directory of old New York (or, as we like to think of it, a time machine).

NYPL Building Inspector

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Leave a comment on this post to submit your example for this week. Rules are on the Required Work page.

Make sure your link is correct and functional.

Include the title or headline of the example you are linking to.

Write one sentence about why we should appreciate it.

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Examples of interactive journalism – Week 15

As always, add your own example for extra credit by providing a link in a reply to this post. (You still have one more chance to post, in Week 16.)

This week’s example — Time 100: The Most Influential People in the World in 2014 — was designed by students in a Communication and Multimedia Design course at a university in the Netherlands. Spend some time clicking on people and then returning to the grid. Do you have ideas for how this might be improved?

Time 100

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Leave a comment on this post to submit your example for this week. Rules are on the Required Work page.

Make sure your link is correct and functional.

Include the title or headline of the example you are linking to.

Write one sentence about why we should appreciate it.

Examples of interactive journalism – Week 14

As always, add your own example for extra credit by providing a link in a reply to this post. (You still have two more chances to post, Weeks 15 and 16.)

A total of 18 animated and interactive charts make up this graphic from Bloomberg News: How Americans Die (published April 17). Sure, it’s not exactly a cheerful topic — but there’s good news in there. Our life expectancy has steadily improved since 1970.

How Americans Die chart 2 How Americans Die chart 1

What technologies were used? JavaScript! Specifically, a library called D3.js:

How Americans Die 3

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Leave a comment on this post to submit your example for this week. Rules are on the Required Work page.

Make sure your link is correct and functional.

Include the title or headline of the example you are linking to.

Write one sentence about why we should appreciate it.

Examples of interactive journalism – Week 13

As always, add your own example for extra credit by providing a link in a reply to this post. (You still have three more chances to post, Weeks 14–16.)

The charts in Fewer Helmets, More Deaths (from The New York Times) react to your scrolling. New data comes into the charts and they change. But what’s super innovative about this story is the way it responds on a phone. See the second image below. Be sure to open this on your own phone and observe the differences!

Desktop: Fewer Helmets, More Deaths

Mobile: Fewer Helmets, More Deaths

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Leave a comment on this post to submit your example for this week. Rules are on the Required Work page.

Make sure your link is correct and functional.

Include the title or headline of the example you are linking to.

Write one sentence about why we should appreciate it.

Examples of interactive journalism – Week 12

As always, add your own example for extra credit by providing a link in a reply to this post. (You still have four chances to post, Weeks 13–16.)

Here’s a cool interactive data graphic from The Washington PostWhere Congress stands on Syria. I know that might not sound sexy to you, but check out what you can do with a giant dataset and some jQuery magic.

Here, I sorted on all members of Congress who are “For” military action:

Washington Post graphic

Here, I searched for a Florida representative (Alcee Hastings) using the search box at upper right:

Washington Post graphic

Click the image below to see full-size links to all JavaScript and jQuery files used in the graphic:

Washington Post JavaScript

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Leave a comment on this post to submit your example for this week. Rules are on the Required Work page.

Make sure your link is correct and functional.

Include the title or headline of the example you are linking to.

Write one sentence about why we should appreciate it.

Examples of interactive journalism – Week 11

As always, add your own example for extra credit by providing a link in a reply to this post. (You still have five chances to post, Weeks 12–16.)

This week’s example is a little different. It’s about the power of code, and it’s also about a UF J-school alum, Ken Schwencke (JM – 2009), who works on the Data Desk at the Los Angeles Times.

Whenever there’s an earthquake, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) sends out email alerts. Schwencke set up an email account to receive those emails. This past Monday, an email landed in that inbox. Automatically, because the email had arrived, a program (written by Schwencke) parsed the text of the email to find answers to these three questions:

  • Is the quake in LA, with greater than 2.5-magnitude?
  • Is the quake in California, with greater than 3.0-magnitude?
  • Is the quake in the U.S., with greater than a 4.5-magnitude?

If only the last question is answered affirmatively, the bot emails the paper’s national reporters and editors — a kind of early alert to a developing story. If either of the first two questions are affirmative, though, it both alerts the metro desk to the quake and writes a simple post.

The Atlantic published a first-rate story about it: How a California Earthquake Becomes the News: An Extremely Precise Timeline. The quote above comes from that story.

Slate published the shorter, more hip-sounding The First News Report on the L.A. Earthquake Was Written by a Robot. This one reproduces the complete text of the very first report (written by the program) — this was later expanded and updated by humans at the same URL.

Schwencke was interviewed on NPR’s morning Weekend Edition news program on March 22 (2 min. 59 sec.).

Your Reply

Leave a comment on this post to submit your example for this week. Rules are on the Required Work page.

Make sure your link is correct and functional.

Include the title or headline of the example you are linking to.

Write one sentence about why we should appreciate it.

Examples of interactive journalism – Week 10

As always, add your own example for extra credit by providing a link in a reply to this post.

This week’s example, The ‘Boys’ in the Bunkhouse, from The New York Times, has several not-so-flashy JavaScript effects that are worth thinking about. It uses the responsive Foundation framework — check out its features!

A very obvious use of JavaScript appears about one-fourth of the way down the page (see the third image below): click the gray-boxed text or the pullout text on the right side, and an image of a document reveals itself in-line with the main text.

Boys NYTimes March 2014

Boys 2 NYTimes March 2014

Boys 3 NYTimes March 2014

Boys 4 NYTimes March 2014

Your Reply

Leave a comment on this post to submit your example for this week. Rules are on the Required Work page.

Make sure your link is correct and functional.

Include the title or headline of the example you are linking to.

Write one sentence about why we should appreciate it.